Southern style pho?
There are a lot of recs for northern-style pho on the board, but I haven't seen any for places that specialize in southern style. Or is southern the default? I'm assuming by opposition that southern style has more of the spices that I love: star anise, ginger, coriander. I don't usually add sauces to my broth, but I love a variety of herbs.
When you were in Laos, did you have the Lao noodle soup or was it a Vietnamese noodle soup? Pho is a Vietnamese name for their version of the noodle soup, but Feu and Guey Tiew are Lao and Thai/Cambodian noodle soups, respectively. All four countries make their soups differently and they taste differently too.
Feu noodle soups in Laos have a "vegetable" taste and aroma to it, whereas Pho noodle soups that I've had seem to lack those characteristics but have more of a "cinnamony" aroma to it. Some versions of Guey Tiew noodle soups in Thailand can also be quite tangy.
My all time favorite in SF is PPQ on Irving near 19th Ave. Cash only.
PPQ Vietnamese Cuisine
1816 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122